The Rev. Al Sharpton is, as usual, working as a black activist while hosting the MSNBC PoliticsNation weekday afternoon program. This time, he's calling on African-American churches to organize in support of the nuclear agreement with Iran.
However, Victor Davis Hanson -- an American military historian, columnist and scholar – responded to Sharpton's charge that “our community is always disproportionately part of the armed services” by stating that the liberal TV anchor “as usual, is not telling the whole truth here.”
In an article for the Huffington Post website, Ryan Grim – who is also a contributor to the MSNBC cable channel -- quoted Sharpton as saying:
We have a disproportionate interest, being that if there is a war, our community is always disproportionately part of the armed services, and that a lot of the debate is by people who will not have family members who will be at risk.
I am calling on ministers in black churches nationwide to go to their pulpits Sunday and have their parishioners call their senators and congressmen to vote "Yes" on the Iran nuclear plan.
So much for the separation of church and state.
“Sharpton has previously nudged Cory Booker on Twitter regarding the senator's position,” Grim noted, “arguing that the New Jersey Democrat is under pressure back home to oppose the deal and is close with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who has been an unspoken opponent of negotiating with Iran.”
However, the MSNBC host praised Booker for quoting rapper Tupac Shakur in a recent tweet: “They have money for war but can't feed the poor.”
“Kudos to Senator Cory Booker for standing firm,” Sharpton posted. “I stand behind him in supporting @POTUS (President Of The United States) with the Iran deal.”
“Sharpton has reached out to Booker, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and other New York Democrats but decided he wanted to take the movement national,” Grim stated.
"There needs to be a balance in this,” the activist asserted. “Clearly lobbyists and others like AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] are pushing on their side, and there needs to be an organized effort on the other side," Sharpton said.
"A lot of Democrats, I think, should have to consider how their voters will feel in their base vote," the liberal host noted.
“The deal is within striking distance of having the support needed to survive,” Grim reported, “but many wobbly Democrats are still claiming to be undecided.”
But on Monday, Victor Davis Hanson wrote an article entitled: “Al Sharpton Is Wrong About African-American Representation in the Armed Forces.”
Sharpton, as usual, is not telling the whole truth here.
There is no statistical evidence to suggest that blacks have suffered more military deaths during wartime on a percentage basis than have other groups -- including whites -- since the integration of the armed forces nearly 70 years ago.
“According to the Congressional Research Service,” he continued, “since 1948, there is little evidence to back up Al Sharpton’s stereotypes of inordinate African-American sacrifice (at least as defined as the ultimate sacrifice in war) compared to the African-American percentage of the general population.”
“In the Korean War, 80 percent of military deaths were white; 8.4 percent were African-American,” Hanson noted. “In Vietnam, the military death ratio was 85.6 percent white to 12.4 percent black.”
During the first Gulf War, “it was 76.3 percent white compared to 17.2 percent black; in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom), 85 percent white compared to 8 percent black; and in Operation Iraqi Freedom through 2014, the military death ratio was 82 percent white to 10 percent black,” he added.
“In other words,” the columnist summarized: “in almost all cases, the white death ratio approximated or exceeded the percentages of whites in the general population.”
As a result, there is “no evidence to support the suggestion that Asians, Latinos, blacks and Native Americans have died disproportionately in America’s wars since 1948, although during the Vietnam War era, that was an article of faith of the anti-war Left,” Hanson noted.
If Sharpton means simple membership within the Armed Services, then representation of blacks in all branches (16.2 percent) is not all that inordinate (less than average in the Marines and Coast Guard, more than average in the Army, Air Force, and Marines) and is not explained by white under-representation in the military (71.9 percent).
Apparently, Sharpton doesn't let mere facts get in the way of his ongoing activism.
And president Barack Obama is currently 14 Senate Democrats short of the 34 he needs to uphold a veto. House Democrats are also split on the deal, which will come to a vote on Sept. 17.